De Beers sold $490 million worth of rough diamonds in Cycle 2 2019, holding steady at just $10 million less than their January sale but at a lower level than last year. The miner's sales fell 13% compared to the $563 million sold at their second sight last year, and combined sales for the first two sights of the year have fallen by 20% compared to 2018.
As Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, tells it, "Demand for rough diamonds remained consistent during the second sales cycle of 2019. While overall demand for lower value rough diamonds remains subdued, we did see an increase in demand from India as factories begin to restock." On the whole, it appears that the market has still not worked its way through a glut of supply in 2017, and rough diamond supply continues to be robust, though it should fall off a little this year.
Rapaport News today issued a press release projecting that while rough production should decline by about 4% to 140.1 million carats this year, sales are likely to increase by 2%. "However," they conclude, "that may be too much for the market to absorb ... The market is saturated with polished that is difficult to move, and manufacturers are struggling to make a decent profit from current supply. A correction is due."